News and Notes from the NFL – August 4
The four-month player lockout created a unique situation this offseason as all player transactions were put on hold until the league owners and the NFL Players Association came to terms on a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement). Once the two sides finally ironed things out, the ban was lifted and basically the league became a version of the old TV game show, ‘Let’s Make a Deal’. What ensued over the past week was a player feeding-frenzy that was unprecedented in league history.
While there are still plenty of quality players looking for a new place to play this season, the bulk of the frenzy is over as most of the biggest available names have either come to terms with their old teams or have signed fat contracts with their new ones.
Philadelphia took the lead by landing this season’s biggest fish, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who previously played for Oakland. The Eagles did not stop there as they also added quarterback Vince Young, defensive linemen Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, and running back Ronnie Brown. This is not to mention picking-up cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Arizona in a trade for Kevin Kolb.
Some of the other prominent player moves over the past week in order of earliest to latest saw QB Matt Hasselbeck go from Seattle to Tennessee, WR Santonio Holmes re-sign with the Jets, QB Donovan McNabb traded to Minnesota, WR Sidney Rice leave the Vikings for the Seahawks, DL Albert Haynesworth and WR Chris (Ochocinco) Johnson sign with New England, RB Reggie Bush traded to Miami, WR Plaxico Burress landing with the Jets, RB Joseph Addai re-sign with Indianapolis, and RB Ahmad Bradshaw re-sign with the Giants. This is just a smattering of all the deals that went down over the past week or so, but it gives you an idea of the scope of the player movement that has occurred as a result of not just the lockout, but the terms of the new CBA.
The big question after all of this activity is what kind of impact it had on the ‘futures’ odds for this year’s Super Bowl. Bookmaker had released its original odds months ago and they stayed relatively constant up until the end of July. When you compare its recently updated odds after reaction from the betting public, there are some dramatic shifts starting first and foremost with Philadelphia. On June 16 the Eagles were listed at 16/1 to win this year’s Super Bowl, which is where they had been for most of the year. Their latest odds, after an extended spending spree at the market, are now 8/1 making them the new third-favorite behind Green Bay at 7/1 and New England at 13/2, which have been the top two favorites all along.
The former third-favorite, Pittsburgh slipped from 11/1 to 14/1, while the Jets moved up slightly from 14/1 to 12/1. Atlanta, which remained relatively quiet in this whole free-for-all, moved up as well going from 16/1 to 14/1. The Eagles’ moves impacted the Giants the most, as they went from 18/1 to 25/1, but the betting public remains bullish on the Cowboys as they remained at 16/1. Most of the longshots dropped further down as well, with the exception of the Vikings (35/1 to 30/1) and the Cardinals (75/1 to 65/1), who happen to now have Philly’s last two starting QB’s on their respective rosters.
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